Fraser Papers Files For Creditor Protection in Canada, US

JUne 18, 2009 - Fraser Papers Inc. today said that it, together with its subsidiaries, has initiated a court-supervised restructuring under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) (Canada) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and that the company will be seeking similar relief later today pursuant to Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Pursuant to CCAA Proceeding commenced today, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. was appointed by the Court as Monitor to assist Fraser through its restructuring process.

Fraser remains in control of its assets and business operations.

"The filing will provide Fraser Papers with a defined process and the necessary time to restructure its affairs in order to emerge with a sustainable and profitable specialty paper business," said Peter Gordon, Fraser's CEO.

Fraser said that it has determined that continued operating losses, weak demand and selling prices for pulp and lumber, impending debt repayments and significant pension funding obligations require Fraser Papers to seek this protection from creditors while it continues to pursue alternatives to restructure its operations.

"Unlike many restructurings, the court filing was not the result of excessive leverage," said Gordon. "Our paper business remains profitable, particularly the specialty packaging and printing segments where there are opportunities to grow in a number of key segments.

"However, weak pulp and lumber markets have drained our limited resources, more than offsetting the progress in our paper business," Gordon added.

In support of this process, CIT Business Credit Canada has agreed to continue to revolve the existing working capital facility and, in addition, Brookfield Asset Management has agreed to provide debtor in possession financing. Together these two facilities will provide up to $20 million to fund operations during the restructuring process, Fraser said.

Fraser noted that its operating plans are unaffected by today's announcement and that the two paper mills in Madawaska, Maine and Gorham, New Hampshire will continue to operate without disruption.

Fraser Papers is an integrated specialty paper company that produces a broad range of specialty packaging and printing papers. The company has operations in New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire and Quebec. Fraser Papers is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: FPS.

SOURCE: Fraser Papers Inc.

PaperAge. Copyright © O'Brien Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.